Thursday, February 11, 2010
If your not screwing up; Your not doing much (Part 2)
The "if your not screwing up; your not doing much" parenting principle is fairly simple when your child's screw ups involve paint on walls or toys being left out. When you are attempting, and I do mean attempting, to parent a 14 year old girl, screw ups can be a bit more detrimental to her well being than washable finger paint is to a wall.
Should she be granted the same freedom to fail, or do I protect her from as many mistakes as I can? If I choose the latter, how do I even begin to dictate to a 14 year old girl what she should or should not do without completely destroying the closeness neccessary to provide advice, direction, wisdom.
Fourteen is young -- when your 37, but when your 14, you are almost driving, graduated, out of the house, married. When your fourteen, and in highschool, you are surrouned by 17 and 18 year old immature adults in a place where sex, drug deals, fights, and drinking happen on a daily basis.
Parenting a teenage girl, if done properly, is a feat comparable to solving world peace. I am just begining this new journey with my oldest daugher, and I am taking the route of trying to see her as mature as she sees herself. I know that she truly believes she knows as much, if not more than I do, about the world, and I absolutely cannot force her to see it any other way. I can only try to teach her the lessons I have allready learned, and help her learn the lessons that are neccessary for her own story to be told.
Trying to come to terms with the fact that your child is closer to an adult than a child is tough because the love you feel for your child creates an intense desire to protect her at all costs, but for her to become an independt, secure, successfull adult you have to step back and let her live her life.
So back seat her I come.
(On a side note: "I am sure many accidents have been avoided by a good back seat driver.")